Writer/Director: Gareth Edwards
Running time: 90 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12A
UK Release date: 3rd December 2010
Watched on DVD Sunday 1st January 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Before I begin I want to get one thing straight… This film is NOT an action blockbuster that’s all guns and special effects, it’s a very low budget movie about people… and there might be the occasional extra terrestrial in there too. If you’ve got to here and you’re still reading then I guess you’re still interested. It’s basically the story of a journey through an area in Mexico known as the ‘Infected Zone’ as it is inhabited by creatures from outer space. I will give you my thoughts after this brief summary.
Title Card: Six years ago... NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A space probe was launched to collect samples but broke up during re-entry over Mexico. Soon after new life forms began to appear and half of the country was quarantined as an INFECTED ZONE. Today... The Mexican & US military still struggle to contain 'the creatures'...
When photographer, Andrew Kaulder, is on assignment in Mexico he is called up by his editor and told to get the boss’s daughter, Samantha Wynden to safety. They catch a train to the coast and, after a bit of a fragmented journey they arrive to find the port about to close. Kaulder manages to have their passports stolen leaving them with only one option, to travel overland across the Infected Zone. This is a very dangerous journey and one that will change their lives. They are escorted by various locals who know the terrain and the creatures well, but even they can fall prey to them occasionally. When they finally reach the border, a massive wall, they don’t quite get the reception they were expecting. I will leave it there or the Spoiler Police (Monsters Division) will be leaving me in the jungle again.
Although it had a very small budget, the film is very well made with some great special effects. Because of the budget, the effects are used sparingly, but with excellent results. The film relies heavily on the two leading characters, and both Scoot McNairy as Andrew Kaulder and Whitney Able as Samantha Wynden did an excellent job.
Although it has quite a slow, deliberate, pace I quite enjoyed this film. The storyline is more about the two main characters and the effect this journey has on them than anything else, but even so, I did find it interesting. There are enough glimpses and hints of the monsters to hold the attention. The effects did remind me slightly of the 2007 film, The Mist, which also featured glimpses of creatures hidden in a mysterious mist. At 90 minutes I found it to be just the right length; any longer and I might have got bored. Over all though I did enjoy this film, there was enough to hold the attention, great effects on a tight budget and the right length… Recommended (for those that don’t expect an action blockbuster).
My Score: 7.1/10.
IMDb Score: 6.4/10 (based on 31,290 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 71/100 (based on 141 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 49/100 (based on 34,072 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Andrew Kaulder: I'm going to be a meteorologist, because it's the only job where I can be wrong every day, and not get fired.
Samantha Wynden: I don't want to go home.